Physical systems used in manufacturing (e.g. smart sensors or edge gateways) send data to an application layer for analytics and decision-making. Before the data is persisted and made available for querying (1.2, 1.3), the Cloud Gateway receives the data first, acting as a central message hub for reliable bidirectional communication to your connected devices (1.1). The Cloud Gateway specifies a data retention time (non-persistent storage) and supports multiple messaging patterns (e.g. Cloud-to-Device, Device-to-Cloud). The generated data content is mostly heterogeneous with high variability of data types and formats requiring the application to support schema and query flexibility. Analyzing data with traditional business intelligence (BI) or sophisticated predictive analytics methods makes it possible to find meaningful insights (2.1, 2.2). These insights are sent back to the device (2.3). The API Gateway contains REST and WebSocket APIs for applications to access data, business logic and functionality from your backend services and dashboards (1.5, 4).
Monitoring and analytics do provide significant business value but only a fraction of the acquired data is relevant to realize the relevant use cases. In the field of industrial networking, we discover heterogeneous environments that result in excessive infrastructure and integration costs. Low-level industrial communication system architectures (fieldbuses) require protocol translation, data normalization, and mapping. Plant operators have to comply with data privacy protection and data security standards. Encrypting or removing personally identifiable information for data anonymization purposes or the transport into on premise-hosted infrastructures is one among many challenges to overcome. Therefore, we make it possible to move your workload to the edge on the devices itself.
netFIELD.io gives you the possibility to configure applications, deploy them to multiple devices via standard containers at scale, and remotely monitor all from a central point in the cloud or at the device itself. The end-to-end solution consists of a three-tier architecture: Edge Device, Edge Platform, and Edge Portal. In the field, we provide a highly secure Linux-based operating system that runs on Hilscher’s robust Edge Gateways. These devices connect securely to the Edge Platform. The monitoring and configuration are within easy reach to customers through the portal. In addition to the platform functionality for the software management of edge devices, we provide out-of-the-box application containers specifically designed for data acquisition in manufacturing processes.